Cutters bullpen falters in loss

WILLIAMSPORT – It was a game that had a little bit of everything, some good and others not so good.

When all of the smoke cleared, the State College Spikes downed the Williamsport Crosscutters, 10-4, before 1,464 fans at Bowman Field.

“It was good to come out here with a win,” said Spikes manager Oliver Marmol. “A couple of non-plays and some errors led to some runs for them and that made the first couple of innings rather hectic. We had runners on every inning, one through nine, so the guys played a great game. The way we came out swinging today made it possible to overcome our mistakes.”

“Today wasn’t a good pitching day for us,” Williamsport manager Nelson Prada said. “We pitched behind against the best hitting team in the league and when you do that, you find yourself in trouble. They also took advantage of those good counts to get good swings and when they did that, they were able to put good wood on the ball. We have some arms in the bullpen that we can bring in, but when you are pitching behind it makes it tough.”

Although he had been pitching well of late, Tuesday night wasn’t a good one for Keivi Rojas.

“He (Rojas) is a guy who has been pitching well, but tonight he gave up five (hits) and four runs and he is a guy who ERA is 1.20,” said Prada. “I think our bullpen has been really solid for maybe from 10th game on. We struggled early in the season, but for the past 40-50 games, we have done well.”

The Cutters wasted no time getting on the board as they used a little of everything to get the job done.

Justin Parr continues to spark the attack from the leadoff spot as he walked and went to second on a single to right by Andrew Pullin.

Parr moved to third when Juan Bautista uncorked a wild pitch and when Spike catcher Dante Rosenberg air-mailed his throw to third, Parr trotted home with the game’s first run.

The Cutters added to their lead in the second when Logan Pierce singled to right, was sacrificed to second by Herlis Hernandez. Pierce scored when Carson Kelly couldn’t handle a ground ball of the bat of Chad Carman.

Trailing 2-0, the Spikes came storming back to take the lead in the top of the third and they did it with two outs.

Cesar Valera, who is hitting .516 against Williamsport this year, singled to right and scored on a Brett Wiley double to right-center. Three pitches later, David Washington belted a two-run home run to deep left-center for a 3-2 State College lead.

For Washington, the home run was his ninth of the season, a new club record. With his three RBIs in the game, Washington now has 40 for the year which is four short of the Spikes record.

“It was a fastball kind of toward the middle and I just wanted to make sure that I stayed inside of it,” said Washington. “I was able put the barrel on it and I hit it well. I am happy with the way things are going for me, especially because the team is winning. If this is how I can help the team win, then this is great. I didn’t know about the records, but that is pretty cool.”

The Spikes lead was short-lived as Andrew Knapp led off the Cutter third with a solo home run to left field, his fourth of the season.

The offensive assault continued in the top of the fourth when the Spikes took a 5-3 lead on a two-run home run to left by Jimmy Bosco. Mason Katz had singled prior to Bosco’s blast.

With two outs, the Cutters’ Malquin Canelo singled to deep short and scored on a triple to right by Parr to cut the State College lead to 5-4, but that was as close as the Cutters would get.

The Spikes took their two-run lead back in the fifth when Brett Wiley singled, went to third on a two-base throwing error by pitcher Matt Soren and scored on a fielding error by Canelo.

Hoping to hold the Spikes at bay, Rojas poured a little more fuel on the fire in the seventh as the Spikes reached him for three hits, an intentional walk and a hit batsman for a pair of runs to take an 8-4 lead.